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Team Member Tuesday – JoAnna

Name: JoAnna

Department: Day Training & Habilitation

Job Title: DT&H Manager

Started at Winona ORC: August 21, 2002

What’s the best thing to happen to you since you started working at Winona ORC? Being able to build so many meaningful relations that have impacted my life forever.

Tell me about some of the people you’ve met at Winona ORC: I can’t just name a few. There are so many employees and staff with amazing dedication to this organization.

What is your favorite thing about working at Winona ORC? All the individuals I get to work alongside of. To watch people thrive, accomplish and be a part of the community is pretty great!

What do you wish other people knew about Winona ORC? All of the services we offer in the community and in our building. I have given many tours over the years and at the end of them, I always have someone say, “Wow, I had no idea all of this happens here!”

What do you think will change about Winona ORC over the next five years? It’s hard to say what will change in the next five years, especially at the Federal/State level. We can only take one day at a time and be hopeful that services will only continue to improve along the way.

What do you do when you aren’t at Winona ORC? When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am an avid MN Vikings fan and enjoy spending time with my dog, Dozer, in my flower beds, and relaxing by my Koi fish pond in the summer.

What is your first memory of Winona ORC? On my first day I was taken to Lourdes Hall (Winona State) where I was training to support individuals in their direct hire positions. I absolutely loved that job! After about six months, the individuals I was supporting didn’t need my assistance any longer as they were independent. I got to move on to another site that needed support. It was a great feeling and I look back on it often.

Why do you support Winona ORC? I support Winona ORC because I believe in our mission and vision.

Team Member Tuesday – Anne

Name: Anne

Department: Admin

Job Title: Director of Operations & Sales

Started at Winona ORC: 8/19/2019

What’s the best thing to happen to you since you started working at Winona ORC? Getting to know the amazing staff and employees that we have here at the ORC.

What is your favorite thing about Winona ORC? Seeing our staff support our mission here at Winona ORC and in the community!

What do you wish other people knew about Winona ORC? That through our mission, we educate, empower and employ! People with disabilities can benefit employers.

What do you think will changed about Winona ORC over the next five years? Seeing more employees working in competitive community employment.

What do you do when you are not at Winona ORC? Spending time with my family. <3

What is your first memory of Winona ORC? All the wonderful well wishes during my first few days here at ORC.

Why do you support Winona ORC? We truly make a difference in people’s lives. Seeing the pride and passion in our employees when they are working means so much to me.


January 13th, 2020|About|

Transportation – Winter Travel

Dear Employees, Support Staff of Employees and Family of Employees,

We have the utmost safety of our employees and patrons in mind and are asking your help to make this happen

With the winter weather knocking on our door and other concerns, we want to communicate with each of you our mission of safety for the employees.  As a reminder if your home is in Lewiston, St. Charles, Wilson, Witoka, Ridgeway, Rollingstone, Stockton, Garvin Heights if Winona Area Public Schools are 2 hours delayed or canceled we will not pick up riders in this area.  If WORC feel the conditions in some areas are not safe we will make the decision no less than 1 hour before the employee’s pick up time.  If you decide to bring in the employee, you will be responsible for picking up the employee from WORC and transport home.  If WORC is closing early due to declining weather we will call at least 1 hour prior to departure time from WORC.  If there is alternate houses employees are to be taken to due to staffing at the employee’s house, please inform the Vocational Case Worker/DT&H Manager.  If we are providing the services to DAC please contact Transportation/Safety Coordinator Denise Matejka.

We are asking at each of your homes that:

  • All walkways employees use to get to the bus are cleared of snow and ice
  • All wheelchair/walker employees must be escorted by house staff to and from the house
  • If areas are not cleared and the driver feels that it is unsafe to load and unload the employees, ORC will call the house to ask for assistance from house staff to load and unload employees off the bus.
  • If employee lives independently in a home or apartment and the areas are not cleared, we may refuse to pick up employee due to the safety of the employee being injured.
  • Buses have a 5 minute wait period for employees at each of the houses. In order to have employees to their designated areas we need to make sure employees are ready prior to bus arriving.  With roads declining in weather it is especially important we are not waiting and making other employees late getting to work and home from work.
  • To help with employees who need to have a staff wave or staff come out to assist with clients, WORC transportation will honk upon arrival incase house staff is not near a window to see the bus.  If staff does not wave or come out to assist, WORC will call to the house to inform.
  • For people who are using the lift, whether they are in a walker or wheelchair, they must be able to ride the lift alone. The driver’s nor staff from the house can ride the lift with employees.  If there becomes an issue of safety of employee’s riding the lift, the driver’s will inform Vocational Case Worker/ DT& H Manager.  If we are providing services to DAC the driver will inform Transportation/Safety Coordinator Denise Matejka.  The designated person will contact house staff of the concerns to trouble shoot how to ensure the safety of the employee.
  • If your employee needs to start using the lift due to physical issues, it must be confirmed with Transportation/Safety Coordinator before employee can use.
  • Due to increased amount of walkers and canes and people’s ability to maneuver in the bus, there may be seating arrangements for employees for their safety.
  • To make sure there is not bottles or wrappers or other tripping hazards there is no eating or drinking on the buses. The only thing that will be allowed is 1 water bottle that has a cap or closed.  Water bottles must be inside of backpack or in a jacket so hands are free to use hand rails.  Water bottles attached to backpacks are not allowed due to hitting other people while moving backpack.
  • Employees are only allowed one bag, that zips shut or can be tied shut on the bus due to space and objects that could become tripping hazards or flying objects. If employee’s are being picked up and taken for groceries or other personal needs during the work time, these will be need to be picked up by house staff or taken by the provider who took them.
  • Please contact Denise Matejka at 452-1855 ext:111, if you would like to be on the call list if Winona Area Public schools is closed or 2 hour delay due to weather and we will not be picking up the employee. We understand not everyone will get the information of school closings and we are more than happy to have you on the call list.

WORC takes pride in our mission of ensuring the safety of all clients we transport.  We want all clients to feel safe while in our care on our transportation.  To ensure this we need your help and communication to continue our mission of safety.


Heidi Smith                                                                 Denise Matejka

Executive Director                                                      Transportation/Safety Coordinator

Winona ORC Mission & Vision

Winona ORC Mission:

Provide services for people with disabilities in our community, including vocational counseling, comprehensive job-related skill training and meaningful employment.


Winona ORC Vision:

Every person with disabilities–physical, mental or learning–is living their full potential through meaningful work, community interactions, family and friendships.

September 23rd, 2019|About|

20th Annual Golf Tournament

We had a beautiful day for the 20th Annual Golf Tournament held at The Bridges Golf Course in Winona, MN.  Twenty one teams competed in our tournament and raised over $39,000!

Year after year, we have the most amazing people help with our tournament!  From our golf committee chairperson Kevin O’Reilly, to all of the wonderful people who volunteer to be on the committee and seek donations, we thank you with all our hearts.  We also thank you for your continued commitment to helping those with special needs.  We couldn’t do what we do without your help! 


Annual Banquet Celebrating 45 Years

Winona ORC held it’s Annual Recognition Banquet on April 26, 2019 at Riverport Inn and Ballroom. The event included a plated meal and presentation in which we recognized our client’s years of service and our appreciation of our community partners. Lynn Meyer was recognized for 45 years of service and Dustin Johnson was chosen as the Employee of the Year.

Companies chosen for honors included HyVee Winona as Employer of the Year, Peerless Industrial Group & Meyn Poultry Solutions as Customer of the Year, and Tom Wynn was chosen as Volunteer of the Year.

Thank you so much to our sponsors and to all that attended!  We had a great time and hope you will join us again next year.

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